"The fact that I could make colourful objects that I can not only use in my game but can also help people have better games really helped lift my depression. I liked the comments, the appreciation for what I was doing, the fact that this gave me worth."
- Artist Matt Crux, speaking to PC Gamer about his experience making mods for Cities: Skylines.
When we talk about the video game modding scene, it's typically to celebrate what a fertile ground it can be for growing a career in game development.
A recent PC Gamer feature highlighting the experiences of two Cities: Skylines modders does just that, affording devs (or would-be devs) some practical insight into the value of modding work. But it also goes beyond to shed light on the ways in which a game's mod community can, if it's healthy and positive, have a positive impact on a modder's personal life.
"Cities finally let me see my creative side, it let me be more creative again, it let me mod and let me start to get into being an artist again," artist Matt Crux told PC Gamer. "Before that, I felt like I was worthless, that nobody cared for me. My whole family, I felt, didn't give a shit about me and so it felt like I was doing something worthwhile. I was back doing my art again and I was also aware I was helping other people make their games better."
His comments are nestled alongside the story of game dev Bryan Shannon, who started making Cities: Skylines mods after being laid off from SimCity developer Maxis, then wound up leveraging those modding efforts into meaningful side income (via Patreon) and, eventually, a job at Prey developer Arkane Studios.
You can find both in the full article, published on PC Gamer's website.